Thotakura Pulusu | Tangy Amaranth Leaves Gravy | Mom’s Recipe Series


I am probably one of the people who love green leafy vegetables. Even as growing up, I never troubled Amma in eating anything that was served to me.. In short I was a non-fussy eater. As I grew up, my love for green leafy vegetables only kept growing bigger. My Amma makes a lot of things with Amaranth leaves that are a power house of a lot of vitamins and minerals. My personal favorite is the Pulusu, a name given for anything that is like stew, but tangy. When she made this for me last week, I quickly clicked some pictures for I wanted to record how she made it. I wouldn’t like it any other way but the way she makes it 🙂 My MIL does a different recipe using the Amaranth leaves, which is quite tasty too but then when I am down, I stick to my mom’s recipes – like this one. This is very simple and goes really well with Indian bread (roti) or with hot rice. My Amma also has a special ingredient that makes it very unique and tasty – fresh drumstick pieces in Pulusu always enhance the flavour of the gravy. Its absolutely okay to skip them but do add if you can find them. By the way, my dad chopped these amaranth leaves so finely, spending more than an hour 🙂 I dont talk about him much on the blog but he is an inspiration for my cooking!

ETA: This post should have made it to the blog on Monday but I was ill and miserable for the last two days, so here it is as a recipe for today.


To make Thotakura Pulusu | Tangy Amaranth Leaves Gravy

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: Easy
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What I used –
  • Thotakura/Amaranth Leaves Finely Chopped, 2 cups (tightly packed)
  • Onion, 1 large
  • Drumstick Pieces, 8 – 10
  • Split Pigeon Peas/Toor Dal, ½ cup
  • Sambar Powder, 1.5 tbsp
  • Turmeric Powder, 1 tsp
  • Fresh Tamarind, small lemon sized ball
  • Salt, as required
  • Oil, 1 tsp
  • Mustard Seeds , ½ tsp
  • Cumin Seeds, ½ tsp
  • Dried Red Chilli, 1 or 2
  • Asafoetida, ½ tsp
  • Water, as required


How I made –

1. In a thick bottomed vessel, add chopped onion and cut drumstick pieces along with turmeric powder. Cook covered for 6-10 mins until the onion and drumstick pieces are cooked. Add finely chopped amaranth leaves/thotakura. Cook covered for another 5-10 mins.


2. Meanwhile, add hot water to the tamarind and let it sit for 5 mins. Extract tamarind juice. Set aside. Cook toor dal/split pigeon peas with enough water in a pressure cooker and cook for 3-4 whistles. Once pressure drops, gently mash the dal. Add sambar powder to the dal and mix well.


3. Add extracted tamarind juice to the cooked amaranth leaves and also add the cooked toor dal. Mix well. Add salt. Cook covered until the pulusu/gravy boils.


4. In a small pan, heat oil. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and roughly cut red chillies. As the mustard and cumin seeds pop up, add asafetida and remove from heat. Add the tempering to the cooked pulusu and mix well.


5. Serve hot with rice/roti and some fryums.


Note –
  • Any kind of amaranth leaves can be used to make this. Finely chop them.
  • Instead of the sambar powder, red chilli powder can be used as well.
  • In the tempering or while making the pulusu, add peeled garlic to enhance the taste.
  • Drumstick pieces are optional but give a good flavor to the pulusu.
  • Adjust spices accordingly.
  • For spicier version, slit green chillies can be added as well.

28 thoughts on “Thotakura Pulusu | Tangy Amaranth Leaves Gravy | Mom’s Recipe Series

  1. This really sounds amazing and looks so good too. Thanks for such a lovely blog, and for always showing a step by step method in cooking your fabulous food. Hope you have a lovely weekend. x

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